Pérez reveals Gutiérrez as Sauber replacement
22 November 2012 – Esteban Gutiérrez is set to be announced as a Sauber driver for the 2013 campaign during the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend, with the departing Sergio Pérez revealing his fellow Mexican's contract at Interlagos on Thursday. With Nico Hülkenberg already confirmed, the development would complete the team's line-up.
Gutiérrez, who finished third overall in the GP2 Series this year with three wins to his name, has been widely tipped to secure a full-time seat in recent weeks, with backers Telmex a fundamental part of Sauber's sponsorship package. If the news is confirmed by the Swiss squad, it would leave current driver Kamui Kobayashi fighting for his future in the sport.
"The car will be strong because the rules don't change much, and the team have a good experienced driver in Nico and he will have a strong team-mate in Esteban," Pérez explained on Thursday morning, prematurely revealing the outfit's decision.
Having claimed titles in Formula BMW Europe and GP3, Gutiérrez got his first taste of F1 machinery with Sauber three years ago and made his official race weekend debut for the squad in India, taking over Pérez's car for the opening practice session.
Meanwhile, Kobayashi has launched a support website in a bid to remain in F1.